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MAY – to be allowed (permitted) to do smth.

meaning use present past
1. permission + / ? You may use my ISP if you wish. -
2. prohibition - You may not use my e-mail box. -
3. possibility + / - It may/might be a faulty program. The modem may/might not have been switched on.
4. suggestion + We might use other graphical software. -
5. complaint + They might pay more attention to the instructions. He might have checked his e-mail at least sometimes.


1. May has only two tense forms: may (present) and might (past), so for other tenses to be allowed (permitted) to do sth. is used.

2. Mightis not always the past of may, sometimes it has a present or future meaning. Perfect infinitive after may or might in such cases shows that they refer to the past.

3. Passive and progressive infinitives after may or might are also possible in some cases.


Упражнение 2. Прочтите и переведите следующие предложения, обращая внимание на значение модального глагола may либо его эквиваленты и форму инфинитива после них:

1. This device may not be switched on here. 2. At first the desktop might seem a little foreign to you. 3. It’s also more installation procedures than you might expect. 4. Will she be allowed to process these figures? 5. It may have beensaid that the development of modern computers was entirely depended upon developments in integrated circuits. 6. Different combinations of 1s and 0s may be used to represent numbers and characters (letters of the alphabet special characters). 7. Were they allowed to operate that new device? 8. Programs other than the one that is being obeyed may be stored on a backing-store external to the computer memory. 9. You may not be the only person using the program and this is the factor to be considered. 10. Combining both of these technologies might produce a completely new range of possibilities for user of information technology.



meaning use present past
1. obligation (speaker’s authority ) + ? They must provide us with all necessary data. -
2. necessity (speaker’s thought) + He must work hard to learn this computer language. -
3. prohibition - You mustn’t press any button. -
4. certainty + He must be working in the Internet. I can’t call him. They must have already opened this file.


1. Must has no other forms. To express past perfect infinitive can be used sometimes.

2. Had to is the past form of must which refers to a past obligation.

3. Need is used in its negative form to express the lack of necessity.


Упражнение 3. Прочтите и переведите следующие предложения, обращая внимание на значение модального глагола must либо его эквиваленты и форму инфинитива после них:

1. The data must have been lost. I don’t see it anywhere. 2. To use a CD-ROM, you must have a computer equipped with a CD-ROM drive. 3. You mustn’t interfere with the program work. 4. To read this graphics file you must have used a program that recognized the file’s format. 5. The user must create sample input data that represents every possible way to enter input.



meaning use present past
1. advice (giving/asking for) + / ? / - Should these commands be carried out? -
2. obligation + / - The files ought to be fully defined. The PC shouldn’t have been used inappropriately.
3. possibility + You should see the message on the screen. They should have carried out the calculations.
4. complaint + / - You should be using another application for this purpose. These devices should have been handled with great care.


Should/Ought to have no other forms. To express past perfect infinitive can be used sometimes.


Упражнение 4. Прочтите и переведите следующие предложения, обращая внимание на значение модальных глаголов should/ought to и форму инфинитива после них:

1. It determines which operations should be carried out and in what order. 2. They ought to have tested new applications. 3. Make sure your last command is finished. You should see the prompt on the screen. 4. The batteries should not be kept uncharged. 5. What kind of data ought to be typed?



meaning use present past
1. necessity + To do this, you need to understand how the data bus width affects performance.  
2. no obligation - You don’t need to use virus scanning every time. You didn’t need to back up these files.


1. Need can be used in different forms with and without “to” after it.

2. Needn’t and don’t need to are different.

- We generally use needn’t when the authority comes from the speaker and don’t need to when the authority doesn’t come from the speaker.

- To talk about the past, we use needn’t and Perfect Infinitive (means: you did but it wasn’t necessary) or didn’t need to.


Упражнение 5. Прочтите и переведите следующие предложения, обращая внимание на значение модального глагола need и форму инфинитива после него:

1. Most memory chips are now mounted on boards, you needn’t have checked for other ports. 2. Nonvolatile media are needed to store programs and data when the power is off. 3. The smaller size reduced the distance electrical signals needed to travel. 4. The fields need not be contiguous in memory, nor do they need to be part of a structure. 5. You can insert the executable code you need to “clean up” at an embed point.



meaning use example
1. necessity (circumstantial) + / - You have to follow a number of rules when entering these commands.


1. Have to can be used in all forms (present, past, future).

2. The difference between must and have to is that with must the speaker is giving his own feelings, while with have tohe is just giving facts.

3. Mustn’t and don’t have to are completely different. “You mustn’t do something” means “it’s necessary that you do not do it”. When “you don’t have todo something” means “it is not necessary to do it; you don’t need to do it”.


Упражнение 6. Прочтите и переведите следующие предложения, обращая внимание на значение модального глагола have to и форму инфинитива после него:

1. You don’t have to push buttons; these actions occur under the direction of the program you are using. 2. If the program is designed to be sold commercially, the documentation will have to include directions for the user to install the program and begin working with it. 3. You have to remember which entity (set of fields) you described as “left” and which ones as “right”. 4. You won’t have to compete with other users to gain access to the system. 5. Because of its cost, new information had to be stored in appropriate archives and libraries for use by others.



meaning use example
1. planned action or agreement + / ? Old PCs are to be replaced next month.
2. prohibition - You are not to start working without antivirus prescan.
3. necessity (the result of orders or instructions) + / ? You are to turn off the device at the end of work.
4. unavoidable events + / ? What is to happen to the system?


Perfect infinitive after be to can express a planned or agreed action which didn’t happen.


Упражнение 7. Прочтите и переведите следующие предложения, обращая внимание на значение модального глагола be toи форму инфинитива после него:

1. An alternative way of expressing the instructions is to use mnemonic codes. 2. In industrial situations, the ability to inspect and, if necessary, reject quickly is desirable if further errors are to be prevented. 3. One of the main objectives of research and development in this field was to provide techniques and equipment capable of helping to control this “information explosion”. 4. An alternative to bit slice microprocessors for complex systems is to use several microprocessors together. 5. Zip drives are not to be confused with zip files.



meaning use example
1. willingness, intention, volition + It will only use the Toolbar buttons and popup menus for Insert, Change and Delete actions.
2. possibility + Sometimes the escape or altmode key will modify the actions of the next few keys pressed after the escape or the altmode key.
3. request ? Would you help me with the installation procedure.
4. persistence - This program won’t work in this operating system.


Упражнение 8. Прочтите и переведите следующие предложения, обращая внимание на значение модальных глаголов will/would и форму инфинитива после них:

1. During POST, DMI/ESCD would not be updated. 2. There will not be any warning message in this situation. 3. The system boot would not stop for a disk error. 4. Quick Load pops up a dialog telling you it will create the file. 5. You would then add the procedure to the Application Tree with the Insert Procedure Command.



meaning use example
1. promise, warning (for all the persons) + He shall have problems if he starts this program.
2. suggestion ? Shall I carry out these calculations for you?
3. asking for instructions ? Shall we format these disks?


Modal verb shall is rarely used in technical language.


Упражнение 9. Переведите предложения, обращая внимание на модаль­ные глаголы и формы инфинитивов после них:

1. This must have given rise to the development of this type of motherboards. 2. Usually the computer’s instruction book will fully describe the effect of pressing the control or escape keys. 3. The device might have been added to the list. 4. The starting point of designing a program should be the output. 5. The re­quirement may have been met in the previous experiment. 6. Sometimes you may need to use the plastic springs to isolate the screw from the motherboard surface. 7. Whether your system can run under these specific bus frequencies properly will depend on your hardware configurations. 8. Before you can use you new disk for storing information, you must format them. 9. You should never alter or delete a configuration file. 10. The system boot would not stop for any error that might be detected.


Упражнение 10. Переведите текст, обращая внимание на модальные глаголы и следующие за ними инфинитивы:

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